A sneaky sap thief has added four taps to this large maple tree in Mount Douglas Park. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

Maple syrup is stereotypically Canadian and often associated with the far chillier east coast, but a sneaky sap thief’s equipment was recently spotted in Mount Douglas Park.

Whether it’s dumped mattresses or stolen trees, the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society members are always on the lookout for unusual things in the park. Most recently, society president Darrell Wick noticed that someone added taps and buckets to maple trees in the park.

READ ALSO: Annual Salmon Carcass Transplant draws Saanich residents to Douglas Creek

From the main trail, it’s difficult to spot the taps, tubes and buckets as they’re well hidden but Wick knows of at least two tapped trees.

Just a short walk off the trail, a large white 18.8-litre bucket is propped against one of the maple trees with blue tubing feeding into it. Wick calls it an “assault on the park.”

Not only did the person go off the trail and trample the forest floor, but they also cut holes to add four taps to one tree, he explained.

Wick emphasized that bringing tree-tapping equipment into the park for the purposes of taking sap out of the park isn’t permitted.

He’s seen tapped trees in the park in previous years but noted this is the first time someone has used buckets this large. If whoever did this thinks the large bucket will fill up, they’re delusional, he said, noting that the climate is wrong and that one cannot produce that much sap.

READ ALSO: ‘Total jerks’ dump living room furniture just south of Mount Douglas Park

The District of Saanich website outlines the rules of park and trail etiquette, one of which asks that visitors maintain and respect Mount Douglas Park’s fragile ecosystems.

Park users are asked to “take nothing but photographs, [and] leave nothing but footprints.”

Saanich Parks and Recreation staff will be called in to remove the taps and buckets from the trees. All of the equipment will be confiscated, said Eva Riccus, senior manager of parks. She explained that the guilty party can claim it, but they’ll be fined about $100 in accordance with the bylaws when they do.

Wick and the other members of the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society are grateful to the park users who report wrongdoings because, in such a large park, it would be impossible for the society members to spot everything.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichparks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WATCH: Yale firefighters fight late night cabin fire in Spuzzum

Neighbours started fighting fire until crews arrived an hour later

Chilliwack youth planning solidarity march against racism

Organizer hoping to ‘create a type of a energy in the city that we will not be silent about racism’

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

Virtual public hearing set for developer with plans to subdivide Willow Street lot

People can submit comments in advance, or call to be added to a speakers list, ahead of June 3rd hearing

Cyclist in his 50s victim of fatal crash near Hope Thursday

Police have ruled out speed, impairment as factors after a tractor-trailer struck a man in his 50s

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

VIDEO: Yarrow’s Corwin Drew in final four of Vancouver Whitecaps Academy skills competition

The soccer star is looking for community support to get him through the next round of online voting

Most Read